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Canada’s Smartest Kitchen and Culinary Institute of Canada host food product development challenge

May 1, 2014

Chris Lovisa, Director of Culinary Development for Cavendish Farms, left, and Greg Fash, VP of Marketing for Cavendish Farms, present a cheque to first-place winner Christine Murnaghan, an Applied Degree in Culinary Operations student at the first annual Canada’s Smartest Kitchen Product Development Challenge.

Chris Lovisa, Director of Culinary Development for Cavendish Farms, left, and Greg Fash, VP of Marketing for Cavendish Farms, present a cheque to second-place winner Sarah MacLeod, an Applied Degree in Culinary Operations student at the first annual Canada’s Smartest Kitchen Product Development Challenge.

Charlottetown, PE – Students in The Culinary Institute of Canada’s Applied Degree in Culinary Operations program had the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to combine the art of food with the business of product development recently in the first annual Canada’s Smartest Kitchen Product Development Challenge, sponsored by Cavendish Farms.

The Cavendish Farms Culinary Creation Centre and Canada’s Smartest Kitchen have been co-located in Holland College’s Tourism and Culinary Centre since 2009. Since both organizations focus on food product development, a competition for culinary students seemed like a natural fit, according to Peter Crooks, executive director of Canada’s Smartest Kitchen.

“CSK was pleased to be a part of this competition. Events like this allow students to showcase their skills and creativity by applying it to real-life product development situations,” he said. “This competition allowed students to participate in everything from researching food trends, developing bench top formulations, conducting sensory analysis, to food styling and photography, all the while having the opportunity to interact with leading industry professionals.”

Applied Degree in Culinary Operations students presented their products to a panel of judges that included senior management from Cavendish Farms; Crooks and Chef Austin Clement, Culinary Program Manager for the culinary institute.

Chris Lovisa, Director of Culinary Development for Cavendish Farms, said the competition was a great opportunity to draw the students’ attention to a possible career path.

“It’s all about the students! While Cavendish Farms is very pleased about our partnership with Holland College and The Culinary Institute of Canada, we are particularly excited to be involved and help support the development of the culinary students at Holland College. This competition is a great way to challenge the students, provide them an outlet to showcase their talents and at the same time give them some exposure to a sector of the business world that potentially awaits,” he said.

Christine Murnaghan won the first place prize of $1,000 for her Potato and Kale Gnocchi Style. Sarah MacLeod won $750 and second place for her Savoury Potato Cheesy Cakes; and the third place price of $550 was awarded to Josie Pickard for her Turkey Dinner Bites.

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